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When the nest empties

1 Aug

I’ve never been one of those parents who thought I was “super”. I do, however, believe that I did the best that I knew how. In the end, I am very proud of the young human that will embark on her new life beginnings in approximately a week and a half.

As a little girl, I always wanted ONE male child and that was solely because my mother had 4 girls so I wanted something I had not experienced. As I got older, I realized that if I had a son – he wouldn’t be good for NO woman because I would’ve spoiled him so – therefore I was VERY glad when India came along.

India was conceived on my honeymoon and as “fairy tale” as that sounds – it also meant that I was going straight from being a new wife to a new mother in less than a year. I was terrified. My pregnancy was a difficult one. My body tried to abort her and every ailment a pregnant woman could experience I had. I spent 5 of my 9 months on bed rest. I could not STAND the smell of my own home so stayed nauseous and had to take meds in order to be able to eat & keep foods down. I suffered with excessive saliva so I spit CONSTANTLY – At about 5 months, my tests were not coming out very well so my OBGYN requested that I have an amniocentesis because my numbers were really high for having a baby with birth and/or mental defects. As myself, my husband and my sister sat in the office of the hospital prepared to undergo this very traumatic procedure – the doctor asked us this question: Would you change anything IF this baby was born with special needs? When we answered no – he then said – go home – I do not advise that you do this procedure with your high risk tendencies. WOW – I thought but that wasn’t all. Although I did not begin to show until my 7th month – I struggled with extreme acne and my neck turned so black – I thought I’d never get my body back again. With all of this going on, the Tuesday before my due date (which was approaching on the forth coming Saturday) on our way to my last doctor’s appointment we were in a car accident. At this point, because my blood pressure had shot up along with all the other issues my doctor decided to induce labor. SO – I had to immediately go and check into the hospital where they had to give me magnesium (because my blood pressure had shot up) then Pitocin to speed up the birthing process. Needless to say, this experience was a MESS!!! At one point, my baby had become under distress so they were threatening to do a C-section. (My desire had always been to do natural birth so I saw that experience going out the window quickly and those birthing classes had been useless). Finally after my Mom & Hubby prayed, I had dilated to my OBGYN’s liking and it was time to bring this baby into the world. India Artrice Standley (named after her paternal grandmother) was born on April 14, 2000 at 3:00 PM at 6 lbs. When she came into this world she entered with the highest pitch squeal even the nurses were baffled LOL (my soprano).

Since her arrival, this child has managed to unite 3 families. She is her Daddy’s youngest and ONLY girl – she is the pride of her 2 brothers (from hubby first marriage) as well as becoming my Mom’s second youngest grand. She is definitely her Granny’s baby ONLY be cause they are so much a like. She loves intensely, she cares until it hurts, she loves to laugh, create, draw and learn. I’ve never had a day’s struggle with this child here on earth. She has been the IDEAL child to raise. I poured into her until I am on empty.

As she embarks on her first year away from home, I have so many mixed feelings. I am already missing those formative years but I trust that God got her. She has her own mind and know who she belongs to. India has made motherhood for me very easy. I cherish what was and look forward to what will be. She’s my baby and will always be but I release her. I release her to the God who ensured she’d get here because she has purpose and impact within her. I release her to shine and be the beautiful being that she’s been called to be. I release my baby to share with the world all the unique & beauty of LOVE birthed through struggle.

We have a week and a half until she’s off to college. Both she & I have had bouts with anxiety BUT we understand that this is the process of life and no matter what….LIFE is precious and we will live it to its fullest. So, although my nest will be empty – it will be FULL of impact that India will have on this world. Thank you GOD – for our gift ~ Miss India

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I accept this ring…

31 Dec

I am not one who really puts a lot of stock into the posts that are made on social media. I assume that most are posting things that will draw them attention, inspiration, laughs or even discussion points. One thing that I’ve seen is other’s welcoming the opinions of others is not freely done.

We have become a society that is so easily offended. I had a discussion with my kid and I told her that not everyone is privy to your opinion; however if you decide to share it and other’s do not agree you should be ok with that because we are all different. Standing in our own truth is a part of what defines us as individuals.

The current fad of “argumentative” banter has been one aimed for “single” women and the size/cost of an engagement ring. When I first saw this post I started to bypass it as I have so many others; but as I began to read the responses I was dumbfounded by the amount of “no’s.” Allow me to share the totality of the post. There is a nice ring that is sitting on top of a Walmart receipt with a $48 price tag on it. The diamonds appear to be cubic zirconia but white gold.

My response on this post was:

“WOW!!! Been married 19 years and the number of “no’s” is tripping me out. We’ve GROWN in rings since the first. I am now rocking a black diamond with black gold BUT it wasn’t the first one. I’m realizing NOW why so many women are NOT married – not leaving room for growth.”

I received some rebuttal on this response and at first it shocked me because I am naive enough to think that what I deem common sense “many” do not. NOW this does not mean that I place my thoughts higher than other’s – it is more of the sheltered belief that on certain topics it is a majority rules.

Then I began to ponder the other way of thinking. WHY would a woman tell a man “no” based off the “quality” of a ring? What does that say about love & marriage? I believe that more value is given to the possessions of a “wedding” or “ring” versus the health of the marriage.

I had no clue of the cost of my first ring and don’t care to know but even if it were $48 that would not have made a bit of difference to me. As years continued, my husband added diamonds to that ring until no more could be added. Then after that, he upgraded me. Never once did I ask him for any of it. I believe he did it because as we grew in our lives together, he wanted to represent that to me in the way of my ring.

One of the defenses that was used was, “If he knows ME then he knows I wouldn’t go for that ring.” My response is this: How well would YOU know HIM? Is this man focused on being debt free, is he buying a home, is he pursuing a better position on his job? These are pertinent things to consider. We are so caught up with what others may say or think. I loved what one person shared.  Her friends potential presented her with a lesser cost ring upon engagement but the day of the wedding he placed one well above the cost of the original on her finger to her surprise. This was such a beautiful story to me.

My heart breaks for the number of women who have missed out on the “loves’ of their lives for the sake of the cost/size of the ring. After many years of marriage, I’ve learned that the “ring” is such a non factor in the journey of marriage. I’ve seen many with 4-5 carats on their finger and marriages lasted less than a year. You can watch reality TV and see women sporting rocks but being abused and disregarded behind closed doors.

The bottom line for me is this: You may not ever want to marry and have the “I can do bad all by myself” approach. There is nothing wrong with that. This is your life to live it in; however if a gentleman has deemed you worthy to care for, love, cherish, raise a family and GROW with you – please do not discount him by saying “no” due to the size/cost of the ring. Marriage is a ministry and NOT a meal ticket.

“Love isn’t LOVE unless you give it away.”

 

Trish

Loss of an Absent Dad

9 Aug

If you know my story then you know that I am the youngest of 4 girls raised by our divorced Mom. My parents were married for approximately 11 years before it ended in divorce. Prior to that, they agreed to raise our foster sister & brother totaling 6 children that my Mom had to raise alone. My Dad was Robert Lee Christie Jr and he recently passed away which was a huge surprise to the entire family.

My Dad was absent from all of his responsibilities concerning his children. This is fact. There is no way to make it pretty nor sugar coat it. It is what it is. Growing up I was first hurt then the hurt turned to anger as well as a complete mistrust to men. I felt that if my own flesh and blood Daddy didn’t stay and love me then why would anyone else? As frustrated and angry as I was with my Dad ~ I loved him.

Once I made the decision (with God’s help) to forgive him and accept him for who he was, that pain began to subside. I wasn’t able to get there though until I married and had a child of my own. Although I still didn’t get it ~ I allowed myself to settle on a numb state concerning my Dad. The few times we saw him growing up when we did see him ~ it was as if not a moment had passed. He would grab us up in his arms and love & hug on us which soothed that yearning we longed for – no matter how short lived it was.

NOTE: This blog isn’t about my magnificent Mom but I have to add this advice to single Mom’s out here. Do NOT think you are punishing the ex by keeping your kids away from him nor his family. It really softens the blow from the child’s perspective when Dad is absent but you have “his” family. She made sure that we had the tremendous gift of our Grandma & Grandpa Christie a long with our HUGE family of aunts, uncles & cousins.

I only have a few memories with my Dad growing up; however I have many memories of our summer stays at our Grandparents home in Michigan along with our cousins from all over the country. It was therapeutic for me to have my aunties & uncles love on me. Internally I told myself this was an extension of my absent Dad.  As frustrated and angry as I was with my Dad ~ I loved him.

When I received the message from my Auntie to call her. It never dawned on me that it had to do with my Dad but I figured it was pretty important. When she told me that Daddy had been rushed to the hospital the only thing I felt was numbness. I began to pray for him and let my sister’s know what was going on. As we got the word from my cousin that we needed to get there, I still felt numb. As we walked into the hospital room after he had passed it hit me like a ton of bricks. That hope is gone. He would never have the chance to get it totally right with his girls. As angry and frustrated as I was with him – I held onto the inkling of “hope.” As long as he had breath in his body – there was hope. Now here he lies…… The numbness turned into tears of sadness, of hopelessness, of pain yet love. No anger anymore. My Daddy was lying there.

When we went to his home, which we had never been to, my niece and I were a little spooked and felt very uncomfortable. As we began to explore where he lived, we found ourselves in his room. As soon as the door was open and light turned on we saw EVERY aspect of our lives revealed in pictures on his wall and in approximately 10 picture books full to capacity. My heart smiled because he did care. He did love us. We mattered. We had worth. Daddy had pictures of instances in our lives where he wasn’t present. It still remains a mystery to us how he got them. This healed a lot of things for me. Over the next couple of days, I cleaned the very bed my Dad fell ill in and comforted his wife. How was I able to do that? I know our Mom was praying for us. One of the things she told us when we got the news was “Honor your Dad.”

God gave me the strength that I didn’t even know that I possessed. In Daddy’s death, I found complete forgiveness therefore I am healed. Robert Lee Christie Jr may  not have been a present Dad but I rejoice in what he was good at. What he was good at was picking a MAGNIFICENT woman to raise his children. And God placed us in one of the greatest families one could only dream of. So ~ the loss of an absent Dad STILL hurts and is very hard. Why? Because I always loved him.

 

Taming Negative Thoughts

23 Oct

As an Indie artist, you always experience a high level of anxiety when releasing new music. Many have said before that as an artist our songs are like our babies and that stands very true. You have to resolve to the fact that what God has given you isn’t for everyone and that’s ok as long as you stay true to your gift & call. Those who you’ve been assigned to will get it.

As I was planning for my release concert, I began to receive many inbox messages, texts and calls telling me “Sorry Sis, I won’t be able to make it.” One of my key supporters had been in the hospital and wouldn’t be able to assist with the concert. Even when I attempted to call my Mom to talk out my anxiety – even she – was not available. I laid in my bed and tears began to fall.

Let’s keep it real in this moment. I’m sure many will say well you are only singing for “God” or you have an audience of “One”. And as true as that is, one still feels the need to feel supported. So how do you rid yourself from those negative thoughts?

As I lied in my bed feeling a little defeated, I had a conversation with God. And as He directed my thoughts I began to audibly speak the words He was speaking to me. He said “I have called you and everyone present I have ordained to be there. Peace be Still.” The morning of the concert as my hubby covered me in prayer HIS words came to me again. “Peace be Still”

The peace that overtook me from that moment on was remarkable. When you KNOW your purpose in God ~ it doesn’t matter what naysayers think, it doesn’t matter who is with you and who isn’t. There will be times when you feel low and defeated but ALL you have to do is quiet your spirit and have a conversation with God and HE will quiet that storm within you.

The night of my release two my sisters commented on how calm and relaxed I was. Little did they know the raging storm that God had just spoken within my heart, mind and spirit. I was walking in the “PEACE” of God.

In the end, those that I thought would be there weren’t; however those who I’d NEVER suspect were there and I rejoice in the Lord because He ALWAYS knows what is best. I pray that God was pleased with the offering given unto Him. I only need to be pleasing in His sight.

“No matter how I feel..Go ~ to a place I’ve never been before..Go ~ spread the Gospel to the World till it reaches every nation..Go ~ wherever You say Go I will Go”

Connect with Trish Standley on social media @TrishStandleyMusic or visit www.trishstandley.com

 

Breaking FREE!!!

21 Sep

I remember when I started the beginnings of my music ministry journey and how I really didn’t want to do this. For several reasons, one being I didn’t want to be out here alone. I preferred singing with groups & choirs and secondly it was terrifying to share my most intimate thoughts through songs with others. After unsuccessfully hiding from God, I finally surrendered once God dried up my gifting.

Once I began to do things God’s way, I found this overwhelming feeling of being FREE. I’ve shared this story several times and I’ve always looked at it as something in my past. WELL, I’ve noticed that through the years, I’ve continued to stall God. I stall God because when He says to “move” I’ve sat on Him. One of the songs on my latest project “No One Else” there is a track called “Go.” In that song, it encourages the listener to Go ye therefore, teach all nations, spread the gospel everywhere, where You lead me I will follow You. Here I am Lord, please use me, let Your glory shine through me, I’m available to be used by You.” Even in singing this song in hopes that it inspired others to be about Our Father’s business, I only recently found evidence that I was doing it again. (Lord, help me).

God was pressing me to make a decision and I allowed relationship to deter me from that. He was trying to take me into a different direction BUT because I didn’t see or “trust” it (Lord have mercy) I attempted to stay with what I knew. Because of this, God didn’t dry up my gifting this time but he dried up my opportunities. There was a HUGE stall in getting this next project done & put out. Just about every roadblock I could face I hit.

Ultimately, I’m at this crossroad again and the decision was made. Although I experienced the emotions of anxiety, fear, panic and sadness – I had no choice but to trust God. Almost immediately, doors and opportunities began to present themselves to me. God even went as far as to reveal persons who my ministry had been a blessing to, to me. And I believe that it was His way of confirming within me that He was in the mix.

Moral of the story: Breaking FREE doesn’t always feel such as that – while in the process. Actually you will feel quite the opposite; however IF you trust God and His leading – He will reveal Himself in the process. You have to just “trust” God & “GO.”

Trish Standley is a Gospel Recording Artist and Radio Host of “Style with Trysh” which airs every Sunday 6-7 PM EST on http://www.stylewithtrysh.us ~ visit www.trishstandley.com for ALL things Trish

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What’s Going On?

9 Jul

I was born and raised in a small town in Indiana called “Kokomo” by a single mother with 5 sisters and 1 brother. We were the only black family in our neighborhood therefore, I and my sisters were THE only of our kind in our class during our elementary (Pettit Park) and middle school (Lafayette) years.

What did that mean for us? A LOT of fighting that is. I am going off of my memory so my sisters may have had different experiences. I remember that fighting came easy for me because a lot of times the kids that called me out of my name were at the same time afraid of me. They “assumed” I could fight. #perk

As the youngest, I remember how my older sisters had to do MORE fighting and made it known NOT to mess with those Christie girl’s. So I didn’t have to fight as often or as much as they did but I still had to fight. I remember fighting during recess because someone called me out of my name and instead of Mr. Russell (our principal) sending me home – he made me sit in the office until school was out. That walk home was a long one because I just KNEW when I got home Jan Houston-Christie was gonna BEAT ME DOWN!!! But instead silence. NOTHING. Mr. Russell never called her.

Mr. Russell had no idea how much he saved me but as an adult I realize something. I think he knew if he called my Mom – I’d get in trouble. But why? For defending myself against being called a derogatory, demeaning and revolting name. I think he spared me out of some level of understanding. I don’t think Mr. Russell could understand ALL the way but he sympathized with my situation. NOW – if Mr. Russell was prejudice himself not only would he have called Jan but he would have paddled me (we got those in school back in the day). But he didn’t do that. He didn’t even give me a tongue lashing…He just told me to go sit. I’ll never know if Mr. Russell ever addressed the students who called me names. Maybe he did…maybe he didn’t but what I appreciated  most of him was that he cared enough to show me sympathy. Don’t think he felt sorry for me but TRIED to understand what I was going through.

What’s going on?

Why is it that we cannot have this approach in society today? THE only 2 things that make us different are: 1) the color of our skin & 2) the way we are treated in this country. The question was asked to white society – if given the opportunity – would you trade places in society with a black person? IF you answer yes, then I believe it would show you things you NEVER knew existed. IF you say no, then that means you  obviously realize there is an issue. To my fellow brothers & sisters: How do you expect one to totally “understand” our stance IF they’ve never experienced it? The same way we need our white family to make an attempt to “sympathize” we also need to “understand” that they can’t see something that has never affected them. BOTH parties should exercise compassion.  To my white family – if we tell you that we’ve been stung by a bee and it hurts DON’T tell us “No it doesn’t” and don’t tell me “Well if you hadn’t been outside then you wouldn’t have been stung to begin with.” Neither of those comments erase the pain. It still hurts.

God created us ALL in His image so if a portion of God is being demeaned, disrespected and most importantly killed…then we as His creation should lay down our differences and seek out a solution. One of the solutions I see is we as “black Americans” need to first begin to love, respect and honor ourselves again. When we kill and defile ourselves it gives the “illusion” for others that it’s ok to do the same. Respect begats Respect!!!

Love is the solution and it starts in our individual worlds. Make a special effort to love on everyone in your day to day lives. Smile and offer a hello. Help someone even if they are apprehensive at first. Put it into your everyday practice and it will become routine.

I love you all!!! Remember that: LOVE isn’t love unless you GIVE it away

 

Gospel Recording Artist Trish Standley is also the host of the weekly show Style with Trysh ~ connect with All things Trish by visiting http://www.trishstandley.com 

 

 

He knows our weaknesses

31 May

I have been blessed to have friends/family in my life who allow me to “think out loud” those questions/crisis of beliefs in my life without being judged.

As I was talking/sharing with my sister/family/peer tonight, the discussion of bearing the weight of being a minstrel of the Gospel came up. We discussed the difficulty of balance when it comes to being our authentic selves, a messenger of God’s word and gospel recording artist. These are 3 entities of who ONE person is called to be and because of that….there are times when ministry becomes really difficult.

THE STRUGGLE: We have to remember who God has “uniquely” called us to be along with the “message” He’s “uniquely” called us to deliver. Often times, we begin to focus NOT on the things that we’ve “heard” but on what we “see OTHERS” doing, which takes us off course. Who did God call, Why did he call us, What message did He give us AND Who are we telling it too?

TRUTH: As minstrels, Lucifer can totally relate to our insecurities, competitive spirits and need to be accepted. He understands the need for fleshy reassurances that we struggle with, within our flesh. WHY does he know? Because he lived it AND because of this LONG list of insecurities they caused his failure and ultimately his fall from grace.

In our arrogance, low self esteem and competitive spirit we get caught up in who admires our vocal acrobatics, who yells the loudest and who has a “membership” in the clique instead. Reaching NO ONE. IF God called you then THIS requires a lot of wilderness work, not being accepted, not being received, not being popular, not being understood. NOTE: WHEN has one’s ability to do the most impressive RUN drawn an “unbeliever” to Christ?

“Anointed” ~ has become a word that MAN determines. God is the ONLY ONE who annoints and the Word of God states He does it according to the remanent in question. All are NOT called to minster to ALL such as minsters of God’s word; however IF we are in the presence of one who isn’t “called” to minister to us “per se” we as MAN want to strip that person from their “anointing”.

We as believer’s have to remember that “he knows our weakness” and will USE that against us. DON’T allow yourself to be used. ARTIST, MINSTRELS, WORSHIP LEADERS ~ don’t get caught up in the hype. You can be the most praised to man and still be the “fallen angel” Tear down the arrogance, separation and competitive spirit. IF kingdom work is what you’ve been called to do then that means CELEBRATE someone else whose operating & succeeding in THEIR call. Kingdom work IS  what is most important in this journey. Allow those who you are not assigned to draw to be drawn by those assigned and praise GOD of His mighty works.

We are only vessels.

Trish

Gospel Recording Artist

http://www.trishstandley.com